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Jerusalem now recognized as the capital of Israel: How did we get here?

Brandon Moseley



Monday, President Donald Trump has formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by opening the new embassy there.

Congressman Gary Palmer, R-Hoover, said, “This opening makes the U.S. the first nation to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital.

In the Bible’s book of Joshua, the Gibeonite King of Jerusalem Adoni-Tzede made a separate peace with Joshua and the invading Hebrews. The other Canaanites decided to attack the city before its strategic position fell to Joshua and the Israelis. Joshua miraculously marched his whole force to intercept and defeat those Canaanite kings before they could take the city.

Centuries later a young King David took possession of the city, then controlled by the Jebusites, who called it Jebus, and made it his capital in 1010 B.C. renaming it Jerusalem. His son, King Solomon, would build the First Temple there and make the city the center of the orthodox Hebrew religion.


On March 16, 597 B.C. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took the City. King Jehoiakim died during the siege. His 8-year-old son, King Jeconiah and most of the royal family were taken into exile in Babylon. His 21-year-old uncle, Zedekiah was installed as a puppet king by the Babylonians. In 586 B.C. the Babylonians again took the rebellious city after a two year siege. This time they destroyed it and the Temple of Solomon.

In 444 B.C. Nehemiah was appointed as the Governor of Judea by the Persian Empire. He repaired the city walls, repopulated the city and built a much smaller second temple. In 332 B.C. the city of Jerusalem fell to Alexander of Macedonia following the siege of Tyre.

In 168 B.C. the deposed High Priest Jason (Jesus) took the city after wrongly receiving the information that Seleucid King Antiochus IV Epiphanes had died on campaign in Egypt. Antiochus retook Jerusalem and responded with a massive persecution of orthodox Jews to speed the Hellenization process. This sparked a Jewish revolt in 167 B.C. under the Maccabees family (Hasmoneans) that eventually took control of the city, the temple, and eventually most of classic Israel including the Edomites who were forced to convert to Judaism.

In 67 B.C. the Roman Republic invaded to settle a Hasmonean civil war and partitioned the country. Julius Caesar and Marc Antony favored the Edomite Antipater and his son Herod. In 40 B.C. the Parthian Empire took Syria and the Hasmoneans took back Judea as a Parthian allied state. Herod fled to Rome who declared him the rightful King of Judea. With Roman help, Herod retook Jerusalem and the country in 37 BC. Herod launched a number of building projects including a massive rebuilding of the Second Temple as a much grander structure. After Herod’s death in 4 B.C. the country was divided among his four sons but the Roman Empire began to exercise much more direct control. In approximately 34 A.D. Jesus of Nazareth was executed by the Romans in Jerusalem at the urging of Jewish leaders.

In 66 A.D. the Roman Governor Gessius Florus plundered the temple and seized a number of Jewish leaders. The country rose in a massive revolt. In 70 A.D. the Roman General Titus took the city after a brutal seven month siege and took it and the temple. The surviving Pharisees then reorganized modern Judaism without the involvement of their rivals, the Sadducees, and the Essenes.

In 115 to 117 A.D. there was a second Jewish revolt. In 130 A.D. the Roman Emperor Hadrian visited the ruins and orders Jerusalem rebuilt, this time dedicated to the God Jupiter and renamed Aelia Capitolonia. In 132 A.D. Simon Bar Kokhba takes the city by force, expels the Romans, renames the city, and is declared the Messiah. In 136 A.D. the Romans retook Jerusalem and expelled all Jews and Christians, a temple to Jupiter is built on the Temple Mount and a temple to Venus is built on Calgary and the city was rededicated as Aelia Capitolonia.

Christians begin returning after Hadrian’s death. In 313 the Emperor Constantine legalizes Christianity. In 324 Constantine calls the Council of Nicaea and renames the City as Jerusalem. In 361 Julian the Apostate becomes Emperor and attempts to reverse the growing Christianization of the Empire. As part of that multicultural effort Julian allows Jews to return to the City and orders the Temple rebuilt. Work on the Temple ends with Julian’s death and a massive earthquake in 363. In 380 the Roman Empire is divided into East and West, Jerusalem is part of the Eastern or Byzantine Empire.

In 611 the Jews revolt and join forces with the growing Sassinid Empire in their War against the Byzantines. The Sassinids take Jerusalem in 614 killing most of the Christians and destroying most of the city.  The Jewish leader Nehemiah Ben Hosel was made governor. In 617 Christians revolted and killed Nehemiah. The Sassinids appointed a Christian Governor. In 629 the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius defeated the Sassinids and retook Jerusalem.

In 637 Caliph Umar the Great takes the city as Muslim armies emerge out of Arabia in force. In 750 the Umayads are defeated by the Abassids who take Jerusalem and assassinate the governor. In 878 Ahmd Ibn Tulun, the ruler of Egypt, takes Jerusalem. In 904 the Abassids retake the city. In 969 the Umali Shia Fatimids took Jerusalem.

In 975 the Byzantine Emperor John I Tzimiskes took Syria and much of the holy land, including Nazareth, but was defeated just outside of Jerusalem. In 1054 the Patriarch of Jerusalem joins with the Eastern Orthodox Church against the Pope in the Great Schism.

In 1073 the Seljuk Turks take Jerusalem from the Fatimids. In 1077 the city revolts against Seljuk rule. Emir Atsiv Ibd Ubaq then returns and retakes the city slaughtering many of the inhabitants. Amidst a Seljuk civil war the Fatimids retook Jerusalem in 1098. In 1099 the First Crusaders arrive and besiege Jerusalem. Many of the Muslim and Jewish inhabitants of the city are killed. Baldwin I is named the first King of Jerusalem.

In 1187 the Christian army was defeated by Saladin at the Battle of the Horns of Hattin. Saladin then besieges and takes Jerusalem. In 1192 the Third Crusade, led by English King Richard the Lionheart, fails to retake Jerusalem. In 1219 the Emir of Damascus destroyed the walls of Jerusalem to prevent the Crusaders from taking the City as a fortified town. From 1229 to 1244 the Christians controlled Jerusalem by treaty. In 1244 the city fell to Muslim control again after a siege. In 1250 the Seventh Crusade ends in failure with the Christians unsuccessful in their attempt to retake Jerusalem.

In 1260 Jerusalem was raided by the Mongols; but were ultimately defeated by the Egyptian Mamluks just to the north of the city. In 1267 Jerusalem only had two Jewish families still living there. In 1291 the Mamluks took the last independent Crusader state, Acre. In 1300 a joint Mongol and Armenian army took Jerusalem but withdrew after just a few months. In 1347 much of the population was killed by the Black Death.

In 1516 the Mamelukes were defeated by the Ottoman Turks who took all of Palestine. In 1771 to 1772 the Christian Mamluk rule of Egypt took Jerusalem with Russian help. He ultimately withdrew. In 1799 the French leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, was forced to end his effort to take Jerusalem after his defeat at the Seige of Acre.

In 1831 Wali Muhammed Ali of Egypt conquered the city. In 1834 the city revolted against Ali. In 1839 and 1840 Jewish Rabi Judah Alklai published books urging Jews to return to Palestine. In 1840 the Ottoman Turks retook Jerusalem with British help. Beginning in the 1860s, Jews from Holland and Germany began resettling in Jerusalem and Jewish neighborhoods began expanding.

In 1897 the First Zionist Congress discussed Jerusalem as a possible capital of a future Jewish state. In 1901 Ottoman authorities placed restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine. In 1914 World War I begins. The Ottoman Empire sides with Germany and Austria against France, Russia, Italy, Great Britain, and eventually the United States.

In 1917 British forces under Allenby defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Jerusalem and entered the city. The Ottomans lost control of Palestine to Great Britain in the Treaty that ended World War I. The Holocaust decimated Jewish populations in Europe during World War II. Israeli nationalists and Arab nationalists increasingly were at odds over the future of Palestine.

On November 29, 1947 the United Nations partition plan called for making Jerusalem an international city separate from any state.  In 1948 the City was divided between Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan. On June 7, 1967 the Israeli Army took the old city of Jerusalem from the Jordanians. Israel eventually moved its capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The United States now recognizes Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel. Israel is either a nation that is 75 years old or promised by God to Abraham’s descendants in the Book of Genesis well over 4000 years ago, depending on which point of view you want to adopt.

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with six and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook.

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Brooks warns of potential debilitating national insolvency after deficit jumps 17 percent

Brandon Moseley



U.S. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, issued a warning about the potential for a “Debilitating National Insolvency and bankruptcy that robs America of the prosperity and peace we have long enjoyed” following the release of the Treasury Department’s preliminary Fiscal Year 2018 deficit projection of $779 billion and the Comptroller General’s statement that America’s fiscal path is “unsustainable.”

“Yesterday’s Treasury Department report confirms that, when it comes to financial responsibility, Washington is a total and complete bipartisan failure,” Brooks said. “Thankfully, because of free-enterprise economic reforms, America’s economy is booming and federal revenues are up. Unfortunately, Washington spending has once again outstripped and left revenue growth in the dust.”

“At $779 billion for FY 2018, America’s deficit is 17 percent worse than last year’s $666 billion deficit. [3] Worse yet, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that next year’s deficit will near the $1-trillion mark,” Brooks wrote in a statement. “Even worse yet, the CBO estimates all subsequent deficits will blow past $1 trillion per year. [4] America’s total debt has exploded to $21.5 trillion. [5] U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro has once again evaluated America’s deficit and debt situation and warned Washington that our financial path is ‘unsustainable’ (accounting language for ‘an insolvency and bankruptcy is in America’s future if we do not change our financially irresponsible path’).”

“American taxpayers shelled out about $325 billion in debt service costs in Fiscal Year 2018,” Rep. Brooks continued. “To put $325 billion into perspective, it is more than 15 times what America spends annually on NASA and more than 6 times what the federal government spends annually on transportation. Absent constructive change, the CBO warns Washington that debt service costs will exceed $800 billion per year within a decade. [7] $800 billion is more than what America currently spends on national defense.”

“This financial data points to one dangerous outcome: a debilitating national insolvency and bankruptcy that robs Americans of the prosperity and peace we have long enjoyed,” Rep. Brooks warned. “I cannot overemphasize how the voting public throughout America must do a far better job of studying and understanding economic issues well enough to elect senators and congressmen who have both the intellect to understand the threat posed by America’s deficits and accumulated debt and the backbone to do what it takes to prevent the economic destruction of a nation it took our ancestors centuries to build.”


The primary driver of the debt has been entitlements, Brooks said. So-called “mandatory spending” on expensive social programs including: Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are increasing much faster than federal revenues or GDP. The Republican Congress has increased spending on Defense, cut taxes, but has not addressed exploding entitlement costs. The improving economy also means rising interest rates which dramatically increases the cost of servicing the national debt, which has ballooned to $21,634 billion.

Congressman Mo Brooks is seeking his fifth term in the United States Congress. He faces former Huntsville city attorney Peter Joffrion in the general election on November 6.

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Alabama has small but growing immigrant population

Chip Brownlee



Alabama has a smaller immigrant population than many other states, but the immigrant population is growing and several industries rely heavily upon immigrants for labor, according to an analysis from the American Immigration Council.

As the Trump Administration continues to implement hard-line policies, including family separation, asylum crackdowns and travel bans, immigration remains a top issue as the November midterm elections near.

Immigrants represent nearly 4 percent of Alabama’s total population. In 2015, 169,972 foreign-born individuals lived in Alabama. Another 3 percent of residents are native-born U.S. citizens who have at least one immigrant parent, according to the analysis. About a third of Alabama’s immigrants are naturalized U.S. citizens. Another 30,000 are eligible to become naturalized, the analysis found.

As the number of immigrants living in Alabama grows, it’s still lagging behind other states. Georgia, for example, has an immigrant population that comprises 10 percent of its total population. About 17 percent of Texas’s population is immigrants, and in California, the number is even higher at 27.3 percent.

State, Mo Brooks sue to block counting of immigrants in 2020 census


Alabama has sued the U.S. Census Bureau, seeking to block the counting of undocumented immigrants in the 2020 census. Alabama officials fear Alabama could lose a congressional seat when reapportionment happens because Alabama’s total population growth is slower than many other states.

According to documents obtained through a public records request, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office has spent at least $4,914 paying the Center for Immigration Studies, an anti-immigration think tank, for a demographic analysis of all 50 states to determine how immigrant populations make affect reapportionment.

A number of the Center for Immigration Studies’ reports have been disputed by other groups such as the Migration Policy Institute, the libertarian Cato Institute, PolitiFact and the Immigration Policy Center. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated CIS as an anti-immigrant hate group.

While the population is relatively small, industry relies heavily upon immigrant labor. Almost 13 percent of all workers in life, physical, and social sciences are immigrants, as are 12 percent of construction and extraction employees, according to the American Immigration Council’s analysis.

While a large portion of immigrants living in Alabama are naturalized citizens or legal residents, the analysis showed that nearly 40,000 U.S. citizens in Alabama are living with at least one family member who is undocumented. About 39 percent of the immigrant population — or 1.3 percent of the state population in 2014 — is undocumented.

More than 100,932 immigrant workers comprise about 5 percent of Alabama’s workforce, the analysis showed. The top industries for immigrant workers are manufacturing, construction, accommodation and food services, retail trade and health care.

Immigrants paid $719.7 million in federal taxes and $252.6 million in state and local taxes in 2014, and, as consumers, they spent $2.7 billion on Alabama’s economy. As entrepreneurs, immigrants in Alabama generated $179.3 million in business revenue in 2015.

Undocumented immigrants, despite their legal status, paid more than $62.3 million in state and local taxes in 2014, the analysis found, and that contribution would rise to $80 million if they achieved legal status. Those who had enrolled in President Barack Obama’s DACA program paid an estimated $13.2 million in state and local taxes in 2016.

All in all, immigrants have $2.7 billion in spending power.

The American Immigration Council drew from U.S. Census data and other sources to develop their analysis, which provides the latest demographic and economic contributions of immigrants in each U.S. state.


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Alliance for Retired Americans endorses Lee Auman for US Congress

Brandon Moseley



The Alliance for Retired Americans announced that they have endorsed Democrat James Lee Auman for U.S. Congress in Alabama’s 4th congressional district. The Alliance represents more than 4.4 million retirees, including 68,337 in Alabama.

The Alliance wrote: “[we believe] that [Lee Auman’s] election to the House of Representatives will enhance the quality of life for older Americans.”

The Alliance cited Auman’s commitment to preserve Social Security and Medicare, as well as his dedication to provide more affordable health care for older Americans.

“Older Americans have the right to retire with dignity,” Auman said. “I am committed to supporting Alabama’s retirees by keeping health care affordable and earned benefits protected.”

Auman has also been endorsed by American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, the Alabama Democratic Conference, and the New South Coalition.


Auman is running against popular eleven term GOP incumbent Congressman Robert Aderholt of Haleyville.

Auman’s repeated calls for Aderholt to debate him have been ignored.
On Tuesday, the Advertiser-Gleam, Arab Tribune, and Sand Mountain Reporter will hold a political forum in Guntersville, Alabama. Lee Auman accepted the invitation to participate. Robert Aderholt’s office has yet to respond to the request by the legacy media outlets.

“I’m looking forward to speaking with and hearing from voters,” Auman said. “As his constituent, I wish the Congressman would offer the people of his district the same respect.”

Martha Gravlee, Auman’s campaign manager said. “By refusing to respond, Aderholt has made one thing clear: he cares more about playing a political game than the people he was elected to represent.”

The political forum will be held at the town hall in Guntersville, Alabama at 6:00 p.m. tonight.

Auman faces a daunting task. Not only is Congressman Aderholt an incumbent with much more financial resources to spend, the Fourth Congressional District is the most pro-Donald Trump district in the entire country.

Lee Auman is a former camp manager.

The general election will be November 6.

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Trump approves Emergency Disaster Declaration for Alabama counties impacted by Hurricane Michael

Brandon Moseley



President Donald Trump approved an Emergency Disaster Declaration for the state of Alabama in response to Gov. Kay Ivey’s request on Oct. 11. The Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance Program will provide assistance under category B to Alabama counties impacted by Hurricane Michael.

“I greatly appreciate President Trump approving our request for federal assistance,” Ivey said. “Alabama has suffered damage, but we have also stepped in to help our neighbors. This assistance will help us recover some of the cost of response and recovery efforts conducted by the state and local governments. This will be a huge benefit to the smaller communities in Alabama that have been affected.”

Alabama has received a Federal Emergency Declaration for the state and the following counties: Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Houston. The Emergency Declaration is to help local and state governments cover costs associated with preparing and responding to Hurricane Michael.
Under the Public Assistance Program, assistance will be provided at 75 percent federal funding for approved costs related to the storm.

“Working together with our federal partners is an important part of helping Alabamians move back to some sense of normalcy when impacted by a storm like Hurricane Michael,” Alabama EMA Director Brian Hastings said. “We are extremely thankful that although Hurricane Michael was a historic storm our state did not encounter any loss of life.”

The Alabama Emergency Management Agency is working with all impacted areas to assess damages in order to possibly qualify for additional assistance to aid in the repairs to infrastructure and the collection and disposal of debris.


Hurricane Michael came ashore at Mexico Beach, Florida as a very strong Category Four Hurricane, the strongest storm to ever impact the Florida panhandle. The storm surge destroyed beach front homes while the winds which reached 155 miles per hour destroyed homes and businesses across Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

The storm also devastated many farms and ranches where barns were destroyed, fences knocked down, livestock killed, and crops, particularly cotton, was flattened and ruined. The disaster declaration means that farmers and ranchers in Barbour, Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Houston counties may be eligible for assistances through the NRCS.
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist for Alabama Ben Malone announced the special financial assistance sign up for Alabama farmers and ranchers who suffered damage to working lands and livestock mortality because of Hurricane Michael.

Affected producers can sign up for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The first batching period will end on October 26, 2018. A second signup period will end on November 9, 2018.

This assistance is available to individual farmers and ranchers to aid in recovery efforts on their properties and does not apply to local governments or other entities. Farmers can apply for assistance including: Emergency Animal Mortality Management, Clearing and Snagging, and Obstruction Removal. The NRCS recommends that farmers seeking assistance for any mass mortality event immediately notify the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries if they haven’t already done so.

Socially disadvantaged, veteran, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers can receive up to 50 percent advanced payment for purchasing materials or contracting.

For more information about NRCS and its programs, visit your local USDA Service Center to determine eligibility. Individuals are not eligible for USDA programs until they have completed the Farm Bill eligibility requirements.

Be sure to notify your crop insurer of Hurricane Michael losses. Inform your home and/or home insurers about any claims. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may also provide some assistance to homeowners and business owners.

The Alabama Farmers Federation has established a relief fund to directly benefit farmers and ranchers.

“Farmers in south Alabama have received an outpouring of support from neighbors and people across the country,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “Many have asked where they can donate to help farmers who’ve lost their crops and barns, so we have created a special fund within the Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation to accept these gifts.”

Donations are tax deductible and may be made at or send checks payable to Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation to P.O. Box 11000, Montgomery, AL 36191.

“Hurricane Michael devastated crops, homes, barns and livelihoods in the Wiregrass,” said Parnell, who is also president of the foundation. “Farmers are resilient, but recovery takes time and money. Alabama producers are grateful for financial help from friends and supporters — and covet your thoughts and prayers during the rebuilding process.”

(Original reporting by ALFA’s Brandon McCray contributed to this report.)

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Jerusalem now recognized as the capital of Israel: How did we get here?

by Brandon Moseley Read Time: 7 min